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Auto industry faces sharper downturn than financial crisis of 2007/8, says GlobalData

Even as automotive manufacturers tentatively restart production lines after the COVID-19 crisis disruptions, the global automotive industry faces a hit to the market that will be greater than in the 2007/8 financial crisis, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

David Leggett, Automotive Editor at GlobalData, comments: "GlobalData’s base COVID-19 light vehicle sales scenario forecasts a fall of 18.9% on 2019 to 72.8 million. That is a bigger annual percentage drop to the global market than we saw during the last great recession.

"A decline of this magnitude will create structural change in the industry all along the automotive value chain - from parts suppliers to vehicle manufacturers and retailers."

GlobalData estimates a revenue cost of $139bn to vehicle manufacturers as some 4.1 million units of production were lost in Europe and North America alone to the end of April.

Leggett continues: "We are seeing a recovery to the vehicle market underway in China and our projections are for a gradual recovery to other markets and for global sales from the third quarter of this year.

"There is, however, no avoiding the strongly adverse impact of lost sales on companies' financial performances and cashflow during the worst of this crisis and its aftermath. The priority for many is simply to have enough cash to weather the worst of the storm and get through to the recovery phase, but sales will be below pre-crisis levels for some time to come."

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First Aussie at McLaren

By Graham Duxbury @TheRealDux


Daniel Ricciardo has become the first Australian Formula One driver to race for the McLaren team established by Kiwi, Bruce McLaren in the mid-1960s.

According to reports. Ricciardo will have a multi-year contract with McLaren from 2021, the year in which its cars will again be Mercedes-Benz powered.

While Daniel might be the first Aussie to join the “works” team, he is not the first antipodean. Fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme joined the team in 1968 as the current world champion. Hulme opened his account with the SA Grand Prix at Kyalami which saw him finish a creditable fifth, despite using a ’67 chassis with a down-on-power BRM V12 engine. In his time at McLaren, Hulme won six Grands Prix including the 1972 SA GP in the iconic Yardley cosmetics-liveried McLaren M19A (pictured at Kyalami).

McLaren is the second oldest active team, and the second most successful F1 team after Ferrari, having won 182 races, 12 Drivers' Championships and eight Constructors' Championships.

The most successful drivers at McLaren have been Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, with three World Championship titles each to their credit. Mika Hakkinen won two while Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda and Lewis Hamilton won one each with McLaren.

British drivers make up the majority of those who have sat behind the wheel of a McLaren in a F1 World Championship event. (Lando Norris currently flies the flag.) Three South African drivers are on the list: Jody Scheckter, Dave Charlton and Basil van Rooyen.

While Australian drivers have not been prolific at Woking, a couple of Australian technicians have played key roles at the team. In 1970, Ralph Bellamy was appointed chief designer and penned the McLaren M19A that competed in the ’71 season (and part of the ’72) as well the McLaren M21 F2 car with which a then-21-year-old Jody Scheckter burst onto the racing scene in Europe in 1972.

Fast forward a few decades and in late 2011, Aussie Sam Michael joined McLaren as Sporting Director, becoming part of the senior technical management team responsible for the McLaren MP4-27, the last car made by McLaren to achieve victory - with Jenson Button in the 2012 Brazilian GP.

Photocredit: Motor Sport Magazine

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Automotive Business Review March / April 2020

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